Two Words: Survival Jobs…

Actor, Writer, Artist, Photographer…these are only the names of many professionals that take on the often cannot be avoided survival jobs. Survival jobs can range from babysitting to work at a temp agency.  Survival jobs are only to survive in between a drought season.  However, most allow those survival jobs to become long life careers.  Let me share a viewpoint of few experiences that have been shared with me.

When a friend of mine first got into acting, he was working at a retail clothing store.  It was okay, but it always interfered with his auditions.  He was grateful to have the discounts for clothes so wardrobe didn’t have to worry about him. Despite the proper attire for set, his job was always in the way.  Yes, of course, he could’ve called out sick when he found a job that fit perfectly for his future brand.  But, he can only call out sick so much.  Nevertheless, he ended up quitting that job.

My next friend’s survival job was a substitute teacher.  Now this job she really enjoyed a lot.  Working with children has always been a strong strength for her even as a teenager.  She was on a substitute teacher list, or known to many as a Sub List, and teachers could call her if  she was available.  Then she could either accept or decline based upon her schedule.  A problem only arose when teachers noticed that she was reliable.  She found out, once you’re reliable teachers tell other teachers about you.  So after being at a particular school and being a familiar face in the building, the principal and administrative staff take notice.  This survival job eventually turned into a permanent job for her for three years.  She got so comfortable with the pay and benefits that she put acting on the back burner.  Somehow, she still felt that there was something more out there for her.

My last friend’s survival job was a brand ambassador.  She was fortunate enough to get this job because she had a close friend that does freelance PR that had found success with it in between projects.  While doing the job she gets to connect with all types of people.  Also, with this job, she’s normally just working on the weekends.  So it allows her to go to auditions throughout the week and book projects on a moment’s notice.  The only downfall is that sometimes she has to wait up to a month to get paid.

Pursuing your ultimate dream can be hard.  But if you’re diligent, you can truly attain success in whatever you choose to do and love.  It is good to have a backup plan or a cushion to fall back on.  Unfortunately, sometimes a backup plan becomes the only plan and you lose focus on your ultimate goal.  Remember survival jobs should be temporary.  Don’t set up camp there if you know that is not your final destination.


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